Just Mercy

Just Mercy

A Story of Justice and Redemption

Book - 2014
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The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
"Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice"--amazon.com.
Publisher: New York :, Spiegel & Grau,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780812994520
0812994523
9780812984965
Characteristics: x, 336 pages ; 25 cm

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p
peacebenow
Jun 10, 2018

Stevenson should run for public office. He is someone who really supports the underrepresented, poor people in our country. The prison system, esp the private prison systems in the southern US, systematically apprehend and prosecute people to the fullest of the law often disregarding evidence of innocence. Learning the devastation of juvenile and adult lives brought tears to my eyes. Stevenson has committed his life to bringing justice to those falsely accused or given sentences in excess for crimes committed. He pushes back on our system that incarcerates people of color out of proportion and for minor or trumped up offenses. He works tirelessly and seems like a saint. Could not put this book down.

w
wendyfath
Apr 02, 2018

This is an incredibly convincing critique and expose' of the American judicial system. This is not just a book for those interested in justice; it's a book that all citizens should read.

o
orange_lobster_23
Mar 15, 2018

Anyone who has heard Bryan Stephenson speak about the horrible inequities in the
criminal justice system can't help but be moved and angered. The reader feels drawn into
every court case and involved with each conclusion. A must read for everyone.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 10, 2018

Of all the book on our justice system that I have read, this is one of the very best. It definitely puts a human face on it case after heartbreaking case.

b
becker
Jan 03, 2018

This book uses a series of case studies to explore the practice of incarceration in the United States. It is written by a lawyer - Bryan Stevenson, who works with Death Row prisoners in Alabama. Reading this book was an eye-opening experience that left me in an almost constant state of outrage from cover to cover. I would have even questioned much of it if it weren't for the well documented notes in the back. I have since gone on to watch several talks and speeches he has made about his work and I have found him to be a smart, gentle, compassionate man who has really interesting things to say about justice and mercy in society. The book is not overly technical or filled with legal jargon. It is very readable and packed full of information.

c
cassandraydrain
Aug 18, 2017

SEND TO THE LINDEN LIBRARY AND THE PEOPLE WILL LET THE ORDER BE FOR THE PERSON ORDERING THE BOOK

k
kpelish
Jul 17, 2017

A concentrated, unblinking story of the Deep South and its enduring struggle with surmounting slavery/racism, told through the legal system. The author defends the unjustly accused Walter McMillian, who gets railroaded into Death Row when he should never have been there in the first place. This is a deeply personal story and the author describes his own feelings of incompetence as he starts off his legal career, nearly overwhelmed by his caseload. He bravely persisted and has achieved a solid non-profit foundation to help those most in need.

v
vGibson
Jul 08, 2017

Excellent book. It was very educational about the history of racial injustice in the South and the racial injustices in the criminal justice system. The stories given about real people will break your heart and you won't be able to put the book down once you start it. The author is an amazing person and I am thankful that he wrote this book.

TechLibrarian May 13, 2017

I reviewed this book last year, but thought I'd recommend it again since Bryan Stevenson is in the headlines this week on account of opening a new memorial to that reckons with the history of lynchings across the U.S. South. This topic is explored a little in Just Mercy, though the primary focus is on Stevenson's role as legal council for incarcerated men and women.

By turns upsetting and hopeful, this book ought to be mandatory reading, especially for anyone who works in criminal justice. I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author, and was on the edge of my seat, wondering if justice would be served or if the men, women, and children whose stories Stevenson tells would be exonerated or executed. A mix of statistics and personal anecdotes, this book moves along swiftly.

t
tauseef365
Jan 28, 2017

An astounding book that stays with you. The irony of the connection with Harper Lee's setting for To Kill A Mockingbird is incredible. I got the audiobook from The Innocence Project a few years back, and this book is in the same vein. It doesn't dive into the deeper systemic corruption, (extending to DNA labs falsifying data to curry favour and extend contracts with country sheriffs and courts), and focuses more on the stories and scope of the Equal Justice Initiative.

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DBRL_ReginaF Mar 10, 2018

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

s
shayshortt
Nov 03, 2016

My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.

o
OutsideTheBox
Apr 16, 2016

"...capital punishment means 'them without the capital get the punishment.'" -- p. 6 Steve Bright, director of Southern Prisoners Defense Committee

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s
shayshortt
Nov 03, 2016

As a young law student, Bryan Stevenson was somewhat adrift at Harvard Law School, unsure of his direction or his future. He wanted to do something that would help people, but he was having trouble connecting his theoretical education with meaningful action. Then, an internship at the Southern Prisoner’s Defence Committee led to work helping inmates on death row in the Deep South. Most of these prisoners were indigent, and could not afford legal counsel to help review or appeal their cases. The experience made a profound impression, and led him to found the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama in 1994. Stevenson would go on to appeal countless death sentences, and challenge the practice of sentencing minors to life without parole. Just Mercy recounts his experiences representing people who have been written off by society.

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